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Volume 731: debated on Thursday 27 April 2023

Since 2014, the Church Commissioners have planted 819 acres of new woodland in the UK. Over the last two years we have bought 438 more acres in south Wales and Angus in Scotland, to plant 350,000 more trees, subject to planning permission. Over the last five years we have planted 11.8 million trees globally.

That is great news for Scotland, Wales and the rest of the world, but what about England’s green and pleasant land? England has, at 10%, the lowest tree coverage in Europe, so can we have more church trees, please, in England?

My hon. Friend speaks so well, not only for Kettering

but for England. He is right to draw attention to the fact that England is among the countries with the least tree cover in Europe. The Church absolutely wants to play its part in changing that. To help achieve that, it participated in the Queen’s green canopy initiative, including through work on an 8,000 mixed-tree plantation in north-west England. We also work with farming tenants across England to explore every possible planting opportunity, including planting trees in hedgerows, agri- forestry and field-scale woodland planting, and will carry on doing so.